Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning Tennessee businesses to be aware of a new, potentially misleading solicitation. The Secretary of State's office has received inquiries about a Certificate of Authorization Request Form distributed by an entity called "SCC." The solicitation states that in exchange for a fee of $68, the business will receive a Tennessee Certificate of Existence and Business Entity Detail Report. This SCC solicitation is not a notice issued by the Tennessee Secretary of State or any other governmental entity.
A Certificate of Existence is used by a business to prove, if needed, that it is registered with the Secretary of State and is active and in good standing. Certificates of Existence may be needed by financial institutions to open accounts or for purposes of obtaining loans, or may be requested by other states when Tennessee businesses want to transact business outside of Tennessee. However, there is not a blanket requirement that businesses in Tennessee obtain a Certificate of Existence at any given time.
Any customer who wishes to obtain a Certificate of Existence directly from the Division of Business Services may do so by requesting and paying for one online at our website, https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/CertOfExistenceInstr.aspx, or by sending a request form along with a check for the fee through the mail. The cost for a Certificate of Existence issued directly from the Tennessee Secretary of State is only $20. In addition, a Business Entity Detail Report can be obtained for free by going to our website.
Customers may call the Secretary of State's Business Services Division at 615-741-6488 for more information.